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Oarswomen Protest Sexist Treatment at Hudson Races

By Angelina M. Snodgrass

Members of the Radcliffe crew team are protesting the sexist treatment they say they received at a recent regatta.

Rower Rebecca K. Treptow '92 says she plans to send a letter to the organizers of the October 6 "Challenge of the Hudson" race, criticizing the use of the terms "girls" and "ladies" to describe female athletes.

The Poughkeepsie, N.Y., event includes both male and female rowing teams. The men were never referred to as "boys," she said.

"The official names for all the women's races included `women,' but other than that, every other time they referred to us it was as `ladies' or `girls,'" Treptow said. "We thought it was unprofessional."

Treptow added that most of the regattas in which the Radcliffe team rows do not include men's crews, so terminology has never been an issue before.

Treptow said she plans to file a letter of complaint--signed by her teammates--with Fred Shoch, the director of the regatta. She also said she will send copies of the letter to women's crew teams at other colleges, asking them to voice their complaints as well.

"I'm really glad Becca wrote that letter," said Edward Kloman, interim head coach of Radcliffe crew. "I'm sure nothing malicious was intended, but it's up to people like Becca to speak up and see that this sort of thing doesn't happen again," he added.

Unprofessional

"The regatta was run by some of the more conservative elements in rowing," Kloman said. "Women's crew to them seems to be more of a recreational sport. Someone just needs to wake them up."

While Shoch, the event's organizer, could not be reached for comment, Kloman confirmed that he had spoken to Shoch about the incident, and that Shoch had apologized. Kloman added that regatta officials said they would watch their language more carefully in the future.

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